Whether you’re familiar with the LinkedIn platform or not, you’re probably aware of the fact that LinkedIn is the most successful platform for social selling.
It’s a platform that was created for business professionals, by business professionals. A platform that connects prospects to sellers and recruiters and brands all over the globe. A platform that I personally use on a daily basis to help drum up prospects and make valuable connections.
Of course, each platform has it’s positive and negative aspects. With Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and even Instagram taking the stage for warming your leads up for interaction and learning about them. In this case, LinkedIn definitely takes the stage for making deals and meeting new potential prospects.
What is Social Selling on LinkedIn?
Social selling on LinkedIn is the act of finding, connecting, engaging, relating to, and building relationships with potential prospects and buyers.
If you have a great social selling strategy, know how to work deals appropriately and engage with your clients on a regular basis, social selling can have you connecting with a particular contact and closing a deal all in the same week. (We’ve done this. We know it works.)
However, results like these don’t come overnight or by luck. It takes an incredible amount of effort as well as creating a sort of social media blueprint for your business. And that’s why we’re going to help you get there.
Social Selling on LinkedIn: How to Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Premium Account
Business professionals on LinkedIn often have a completely different set of goals than that of salespeople. As a sales representative, you won’t be targeting the business professionals and recruiters on the platform the way you would be as an individual looking for work or new opportunities.
In order to make sure you’re ready to kill it on LinkedIn by the end of this article, we’re going to give you an in-depth explanation of the ways you can:
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales
- How to find prospects on LinkedIn
- How to sell on LinkedIn for Professionals
- Building your personal brand on LinkedIn
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Sales
When it comes to optimizing your LinkedIn profile for sales, there are a couple of things that will immediately come to mind. These include your profile photo, your cover photo, your description, and your headline.
I recently conducted an online webinar all about social selling and had the opportunity to answer plenty of questions live, including the many questions people have about the best way to approach this, and I’m going to be sharing this insight here.
1) Your LinkedIn Profile Photo
Having a high-quality profile picture makes your profile 14X more likely to be viewed and interacted with on LinkedIn.
A high-quality face shot, a picture of you and your significant other or you and your dog are all great options and will make it easy for others to spark conversations with you.
Don’t have a studio-quality camera or editing software? No sweat! Just make sure it’s clean, up-to-date, and eye-catching and you’ll be ready to build your network in no time.
2) Your LinkedIn Headline
Forget the boring headlines that everyone on LinkedIn is using and settle for something outside of the box. If it doesn’t want to make you stop scrolling, it’s not exciting and relevant enough. Stick to professional skills, job titles, and hobbies, or how you can best assist other businesses in their quest for greatness.
3) Your LinkedIn Summary
Contrary to popular belief, your LinkedIn summary doesn’t have to be overly long to be effective and helpful for business owners and professionals looking for your product or services.
At the max, your summary should be no longer than two paragraphs, but try to stick with one paragraph to make it easy to skim and understand.
4) Your LinkedIn Role Description
The ultimate goal is to communicate with potential buyers and prospects that you do something for them and can help them succeed in their own endeavors.
A great way to do this is to communicate effectively in a short sentence with one or to of the ways you can bring value to your customers’ lives. Some great ideas for this would include:
- How you help your customers lower costs
- How you help your customers achieve safety standards
- How you can make your customers lives easier with streamlining
Remember that the goal is to communicate HOW you can effectively bring value and have a positive impact on your customers’ businesses. If your LinkedIn role description isn’t doing this, work on it until it does.
If you don’t get a special award for completing your profile, you’re not done. The more fleshed out your profile, the better chances you’ll put yourself in a position of authority fast and with ease on LinkedIn. From certificates to unique awards and opportunities, put it all in there! Who knows, maybe the very thing you weren’t sure about is what will attract your next buyer.
How to Find Prospects on LinkedIn
LinkedIn: the ultimate lead generation tool. And even if you haven’t graduated to using the premium features, it’s still an incredibly useful tool that you should be taking advantage of if you expect to grow in the coming months and years.
Today, we’re going to be exploring a few of the more popular ways of finding prospects on LinkedIn. If you were listening in on our last social selling webinar, some of these might sound familiar.
LinkedIn search remains one of the most powerful tools in terms of finding potential prospects for your business.
With the free version, you’ll have the option to search for prospects in the following categories:
- Connection of people you know, etc.
- Past and current companies
- Profile language
- ...and more!
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time here, I’d highly recommend investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. My team and I use it on a daily basis to help our customers in our social selling services program to find new prospects and nurture leads and we can guarantee you. It’s worth it.
Friends of Your LinkedIn Prospects Are Also Prospects
And this is where the “people also viewed” sidebar is so incredibly helpful. When you’ve found a LinkedIn prospect, navigate to their profile, and check out the sidebar with “people also viewed” and take advantage of the free research, no additional work needed.
Research Your Customers LinkedIn Connections
This is a great way to get new prospects by utilizing your champion clients. When one of your customers’ posts or shares updates about your product or service, check out the profiles for the connections commenting. Who knows you might get a referral!
Save the LinkedIn Search
Who doesn’t want a constant stream of qualified leads filtering into their inbox? Saved searches on LinkedIn accomplish this exact thing.
If your ideal customer is a marketing professional selling cosmetic medical lasers in the Midwest, you can save this and LinkedIn will automatically send you highlights of your search each week. You'll be able to save time AND save your sanity. It's a win-win.
Sales Navigator Perks
If you're a customer paying for LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you'll be delighted to know that you can "save" potential prospects as leads, which will put all of their posts and comments on your home feed.
This means you'll be able to warm your leads up by interacting with them before moving in with the solutions.
Easy Social Selling on LinkedIn
You're almost there! You now have an updated and optimized profile and have discovered the best ways to find your prospects on LinkedIn. Now it's time to learn how to work the leads so you can make more sales.
Bring Value to Your LinkedIn Prospects and Connections
Bringing value to your prospects and your potential customers and connections is the first step in a successful LinkedIn sales strategy.
Whether it's original content that you or your company and brand created, relevant industry news and insights and past work that you have done for your clients, sharing relevant, informative and creative content with your prospects will help them to feel more at home when it comes to engaging and relating with your content across LinkedIn.
Interact in LinkedIn Groups for Optimal Social Selling Benefits
There are over 2 million active groups on LinkedIn. Joining these groups can help expand your potential reach and even grow your LinkedIn social selling network.
This works because you'll be able to make connections with people outside of your acquaintances connections.
Within groups, you can use search functionality to filter members by job title, geographic location, and industry, making it easier to find your ideal candidates and future brand ambassadors.
The groups you join don't necessarily have to be "relevant" to your industry either. In fact, your focus should be to join the groups where your potential customers and connections are staying connected.
Just make sure after you join that you take the time to be a dedicated, connected member and interact daily with members.
Personalize Connection Requests and Have Meaningful Conversations
Nobody likes impersonal requests, messages and emails. Sending non-personalized outreach and connection requests is like taking a step into the past when cold calling was the majority of how sales people spent their time.
Instead, take the time to be warm, friendly and personal. Engage with your prospects like there IS another human on the other side because there IS another human on the other side.
If you want to be successful in the realm of social selling on LinkedIn, than take the time to get there and have plenty of meaningful conversation. Both in private messages and across posts in your LinkedIn feed.
Stepping Away From LinkedIn
When you make a deep connection with a prospect, the next best step is to take it offline! Make real friends out of business opportunities and close deals by driving them home close to home. Literally! If you're able, going out of your way to meet with your prospects establishes trust much better than a single phone call and a couple of emails over the course of a couple weeks.
If you can't take it completely away from being online, video calling frequently and having regular calls is the next best thing.
Social Selling and Building Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
Your personal brand defines you online. It's who you will become to your customers, prospects and connections across LinkedIn and across the web.
Your personal brand can be negative or positive. Are you pushy? Kind? Care-free? Aggressive? These are all things that your brand could become known by as you do business.
LinkedIn makes shaping your personal brand pretty simple.
First, you'll need to identify the characteristics you want your brand to be known by and then create content AROUND those traits.
Update your profile to include these traits. Customize logos, descriptions, headlines and taglines to better reflect your brand personality and then try your best to theme your profile and posts going forward.
Final Thoughts on LinkedIn Social Selling
Our team has been working for decades to improve the online perception of large brands like Dick's Sporting Goods and Lumenis.
Over time, we've been able to create a perfect social selling on LinkedIn strategy that makes the job of sales persons and marketing professionals significantly easier and hopefully, we've been able to give you a pretty good idea of how it works and will find it easy to implement the practice into your own work.
Don't forget that we're always here to help if you need a hand!
Got a question or want to share your insight with our team of professional LinkedIn social selling experts? Drop us a line!